Friends (season 4)

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Friends
Season 4
Friends Season 4 DVD.jpg
Friends season 4 DVD cover
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes24
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 25, 1997 (1997-09-25) –
May 7, 1998 (1998-05-07)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of episodes

The fourth season of Friends, an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, premiered on NBC on September 25, 1997. Friends was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The season contains 24 episodes and concluded airing May 7, 1998.

Reception[edit]

It was one of three seasons included on TV Guide's list of the Top 100 TV Seasons.

Collider ranked it #8 on their list of the ten Friends seasons, and cited "The One with the Embryos" as its best episode.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

(In particular, Introduced in season 4 or Only in season 4)

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
Rating/share
(18–49)
741"The One with the Jellyfish"Shelley JensenWil CalhounSeptember 25, 1997 (1997-09-25)46660129.43[2]15.5/44[3]
Ross breaks up with Bonnie in order to get back with Rachel, who prompts him to first read her 18-page letter discussing their relationship and previous break-up. Ross falls asleep while reading the letter, and unwittingly agrees to take full responsibility for their break-up later on. Ross and Rachel then break up again after he refuses to take all the blame for their previous problems (as have been stated in the letter) and insists they were "on a break". Joey and Chandler come to Monica's rescue after she is stung by a jellyfish - one of them has to pee on her leg to relieve the pain, as suggested by Joey who has learnt it from watching the Discovery Channel. Phoebe goes to see her sister, Ursula, who reveals that she already knows the truth about their birth mother.
752"The One with the Cat"Shelley JensenJill Condon & Amy ToominOctober 2, 1997 (1997-10-02)46660225.54[4]13.3/40[5]
Monica runs into Chip Matthews, Rachel's high school prom date, and is thrilled when he asks her out, though it causes tensions between her and Rachel (and ultimately Ross). Monica quickly realises that Chip has never matured beyond high school and dumps him. Chandler forces Joey to sell the entertainment unit that the latter had built after the former keeps ripping his work suit accidentally whenever he brushes against the unit while coming out from his room. A prospective buyer traps Joey inside the unit, then steals most of the guys' furnitures. Phoebe is overjoyed to find a cat that she believes contains her adoptive mother’s (Lily’s) spirit.
763"The One with the Cuffs"Peter BonerzSeth KurlandOctober 9, 1997 (1997-10-09)46660323.98[6]12.4/37[7]
Joey is enticed when a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman shows up at his apartment, since he has always felt left out whenever the gang has intellectual conversations. However, Joey can only afford to buy the sample volume and becomes knowledgeable only on subjects that start with the letter "V." Monica caters a party for her mother, but the mini-quiches are effectively ruined when one of her false fingernails gets lost in one. Judy then reveals that she expected Monica to mess up so she bought frozen lasagnas as back-up. Monica, upset that her mother has never had faith in her, whips up delicious dishes at the last minute to prove her mother wrong. Judy ultimately gets impressed and the two reconcile. Meanwhile, Chandler begins dating Rachel's boss, Joanna, again but lands in a sticky situation when Joanna handcuffs him inside her office, then leaves for a meeting that gets delayed, stranding him for hours. Rachel is furious when she sneaks into Joanna’s office (having been under the impression that Joanna has been listing names of employees that would get a Christmas bonus) to find Chandler stuck there pantsless, since he has promised to end the relationship many times but never does.
774"The One with the Ballroom Dancing"Gail MancusoTed Cohen & Andrew ReichOctober 16, 1997 (1997-10-16)46660424.31[8]12.6/37[9]
Phoebe struggles to remain professional with an attractive client. When she finally confesses her feelings to him, he reciprocates and the two start making out. Phoebe’s boss then walks in on them, informs her the man is married, and then fires her for “being a whore”. Chandler hits a snag whenever he tries to revoke his gym membership due to pressure from the assertive staff, so he enlists Ross's help. However, he still fails to quit and Ross ends up joining the gym. Both men are then revealed to have serious problems in being assertive whenever an attractive lady is involved. Joey confronts Mr. Treeger after he makes Rachel cry. Mr. Treeger responds by threatening to report Monica for illegally subletting her grandmother's apartment to Rachel. In order to save the girls from eviction, Joey reluctantly agrees to help Mr. Treeger practice ballroom dancing in order to help the latter impress his crush at an upcoming social event.
785"The One with Joey's New Girlfriend"Gail MancusoGregory S. Malins & Michael CurtisOctober 30, 1997 (1997-10-30)46660524.35[10]12.7/35[11]
Phoebe has a cold that she thinks improves her singing voice, only to be frustrated when her "sexy phlegm" disappears. She then desperately tries to catch a cold again from multiple sources, including Monica and Gunther, in order to get her “sexy” voice back. Ross attempts to make Rachel jealous by dating Amanda, a beautiful woman with a child Ben's age, only to discover that she just acknowledges him as a babysitter to her child. As payback, Rachel also starts dating a cute college guy, Josh, who turns out to be immature and constantly stealing from her and the gang. Meanwhile, Chandler falls in love with Joey's new actress girlfriend, Kathy, much to the former’s dismay.
796"The One with the Dirty Girl"Shelley JensenShana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott SilveriNovember 6, 1997 (1997-11-06)46660625.68[12]13.5/38[13]
Phoebe helps Monica cater a funeral, but the merry widow intimidates Monica to avoid paying. Phoebe then takes charge and demands the widow to settle the bill. Both girls ultimately decide to start their own catering business. Chandler reluctantly helps Joey find Kathy a birthday present better than the one he bought for her (a limited edition book from Kathy’s childhood), ultimately sacrificing his gift to substitute for Joey's tacky one (a dual-functioning pen). Ross, revolted by his beautiful new girlfriend's filthy apartment, finally calls it quits. Rachel is determined to complete a crossword without help. Kathy later thanks Chandler for the book, realising that he bought it instead of Joey.
807"The One Where Chandler Crosses the Line"Kevin S. BrightAdam ChaseNovember 13, 1997 (1997-11-13)46660726.35[14]13.9/38[15]
Ross starts playing the keyboards again after much prompting from Phoebe. His musical compositions leave the gang aghast, except for Phoebe who thinks they are brilliant. Chandler's feelings towards Kathy reach a breaking point after they kiss. Guilt-ridden, he eventually tells Joey the truth and then vainly tries to fix things but to no avail. Joey is outraged by Chandler’s betrayal even though he is dating another woman at the same time.
818"The One with Chandler in a Box"Peter BonerzMichael BorkowNovember 20, 1997 (1997-11-20)46660826.76[16]13.7/39[17]
During Thanksgiving dinner, Joey punishes Chandler for kissing Kathy in the previous episode by sentencing him to a “time out" inside a crate for the same duration as when Joey was stuck in the entertainment unit earlier this season. Joey finally relents when he witnesses Kathy breaking up with Chandler, who is still inside the crate and resists responding in spite of the situation. Joey ultimately gives Chandler and Kathy his approval and prompts the former to chase after the latter. Ross is shocked to learn that Rachel exchanges every gift she is given, but she shows Ross that she keeps things that matter. Monica becomes infatuated with Richard’s son, Timothy, who is also an eye doctor, when she has an appointment with him after accidentally getting some ice into her eye. Monica and Timothy later kiss, though the former reveals that the kiss reminds her of Richard and both get disgusted soon afterwards.
829"The One Where They're Going to Party!"Peter BonerzTed Cohen & Andrew ReichDecember 11, 1997 (1997-12-11)46660923.89[18]N/A
Monica and Phoebe buy a tacky van for their new catering business, but plans are upended when Monica is offered the head chef job at “Alessandro's”, a restaurant that she recently trashed in a review for a neighbourhood paper. Rachel applies for an assistant buyer job in another Bloomingdale's department, only to be sabotaged during the interview by her boss, Joanna, who wants to keep Rachel as her assistant. Rachel confronts Joanna, who then offers to make her an assistant buyer in her department. Unfortunately, Joanna meets an untimely end before Rachel's promotion takes effect. Ross and Chandler are excited when their friend Mike 'Gandalf' Ganderson is coming to town to party all night. When Gandalf cancels at the last minute, Joey says they can still have a great time, though the guys get beaten down before the night ends.
8310"The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie"Gary HalvorsonScott SilveriDecember 18, 1997 (1997-12-18)46661223.22[19]N/A
Chandler's attempt to set Rachel up with someone from work gets out of hand when his colleagues start competing with one another, believing she only wants a fling. He then scares everyone off by saying Rachel wants a serious relationship. Monica's new staff at Alessandro's resent her for replacing their family member as the head chef, and constantly bully her at work. Upon heeding Chandler’s advice, Monica hires Joey just so she can fake fire him in order to show her staff who is boss. When Joey gets lucrative tips from working at the restaurant, he refuses to give Monica a reason to fire him. However, when Joey truly sees the degree of cruelty and abuse Monica is being forced to endure, which almost makes her resign, he sticks to his part and Monica fires him in front of everyone. This is enough for Monica to acquire control over her colleagues who realize they could get fired too. Ross is torn between a pretty but overly-serious girl who lives nearby and a fun one who lives upstate, which requires him to commute long hours to meet. Phoebe writes a holiday song for her friends but has trouble rhyming their names with holiday-themed things.
8411"The One with Phoebe's Uterus"David SteinbergSeth KurlandJanuary 8, 1998 (1998-01-08)46661023.66[20]N/A
Chandler has not had sex with his girlfriend, Kathy, ever since they got together due to the former’s fear of not being able to “fill Joey’s shoes”. Monica and Rachel then offer Chandler some advice on improving his bedroom performance, leading to Kathy expressing her endless gratitude to Monica. Ross lands Joey a job as a tour guide at the museum, which ultimately results in the latter’s disappointment when he witnesses an existential class divide within the museum. His friendship with Ross becomes strained when the latter is not willing to sit with him in the lunch room due to their designation differences. Guilt-ridden by the lunch incident, Ross decides to make amends to Joey by rectifying the class divide in the museum the next day. Phoebe's brother, Frank Jr., and Alice have eloped and tried to conceive naturally many times, without any success. The couple then asks Phoebe to carry their baby. Phoebe’s birth mum decides to give her puppy to Phoebe for a few days to help the latter make her decision. Phoebe eventually decides to fulfil Frank Jr.’s and Alice’s wishes.
8512"The One with the Embryos"Kevin S. BrightJill Condon & Amy ToominJanuary 15, 1998 (1998-01-15)46661127.14[22]N/A

Rachel and Monica demand that Chandler and Joey get rid of their pet birds when the rooster starts to crow incessantly every morning before sunrise. The four of them also have an argument about who knows whom better, which results in Ross designing a trivia quiz with high stakes: if the men lose, they give up their pets, but if the women lose, they switch apartments with the men. The result comes down to a tie breaker, which the girls lose, thereby forcing them to move. Meanwhile, the embryos from Frank Jr. and Alice have been successfully implanted into Phoebe's uterus, leading to a tense wait that ultimately results in Phoebe’s pregnancy albeit much pressure from knowing that the chance of pregnancy is quite slim and the couple has invested all their life savings for the IVF.

In 2009, TV Guide ranked this episode #21 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[21]
8613"The One with Rachel's Crush"Dana DeVally PiazzaShana Goldberg-MeehanJanuary 29, 1998 (1998-01-29)46661325.27[23]13.0/36[24]
Monica is determined to continue being 'the hostess' and strives to succeed despite having switched apartments with Chandler and Joey. Chandler is worried when Kathy and a fellow actor, Nick, get steamy on stage in a play, which leads to him unfairly accusing Kathy of cheating on him. When he later goes to her apartment to apologize, he discovers that Kathy has started sleeping with Nick, even though the latter two did not when Chandler confronted Kathy about her possible infidelity. Rachel is disgruntled after Bloomingdale’s eliminates her department and “demotes” her to be a personal shopper in another department. However, her job attitude improves when she meets a handsome customer named Joshua. Having had no experience in asking a guy out, Rachel seeks advice from Joey and Phoebe, though her plan in asking Joshua out ultimately backfires on her when, according to her, she is not in the date that she has successfully asked for.
8714"The One with Joey's Dirty Day"Peter BonerzWil CalhounFebruary 5, 1998 (1998-02-05)46661425.08[25]14.5/37[26]
Chandler is depressed over his break-up with Kathy, leading to the girls intervening to help him get over the latter. One of the plans involves bringing Chandler to a strip club. However, the plan backfires when the girls inadvertently sideline him. With no other options, Rachel asks for Ross's help after she accidentally becomes double-booked with Joshua and her boss, with the former inviting her to an inaugural club opening and the latter wanting her to accompany his niece, Emily, to an opera concert. Much to Ross’s chagrin, he agrees to meet Emily and take her to the opera concert. In the end, Ross and Emily hit it off and ultimately end up spending the weekend together at a Bed & Breakfast in Vermont, whereas Rachel is unable to enter the club that she has been invited to due to a mix-up and ends up not meeting Joshua at all. Meanwhile, Joey arrives home with an unpleasant odor following a three-day fishing trip with his father. He oversleeps and rushes to a movie set without showering. He later sneaks into Charlton Heston's dressing room to take a shower and gets caught doing so by the latter.
8815"The One with All the Rugby"James BurrowsStory by : Ted Cohen & Andrew Reich
Teleplay by : Wil Calhoun
February 26, 1998 (1998-02-26)46661724.44[27]12.8/35[28]
Ross risks life and limb in his desperate attempt to prove to Emily how tough he is by playing an aggressive game of rugby with her athletic British friends. Monica becomes obsessed with a wall switch in her current (previously Chandler’s and Joey’s) apartment which appears to have no function. She resorts to every possible measure in trying to determine the switch’s origin, but to no avail, so she eventually gives up. Unbeknownst to her, the switch actually controls the television in her previous (now Chandler’s and Joey’s) apartment. Chandler runs into Janice during a manicure session with Rachel and goes to extreme measures to avoid her, which include telling her that he is being transferred to Yemen for work.
8916"The One with the Fake Party"Michael LembeckStory by : Alicia Sky Varinaitis
Teleplay by : Scott Silveri & Shana Goldberg-Meehan
March 19, 1998 (1998-03-19)46661523.13[29]11.7/33[30]
Phoebe’s pregnancy causes her to crave meat despite being a devout vegetarian. She seeks Joey for advice and he decides to sacrifice his meat consumption in order to balance out the amount of meat that Phoebe eats. Meanwhile, Ross wants to spend as much time with Emily as possible before she returns to London. However, Rachel throws a fake surprise goodbye party for Emily as a ruse to invite Joshua, thereby disrupting Ross's more intimate farewell plans.
9017"The One with the Free Porn"Michael LembeckStory by : Mark Kunerth
Teleplay by : Richard Goodman
March 26, 1998 (1998-03-26)46661623.22[31]12.1/36[32]
Phoebe is shocked when she learns that she is expecting triplets and wants to find ways to help financially support her brother and sister-in-law. She ultimately decides to start a massage/taxi business with Frank Jr. using the van that the former and Monica were once going to use for a catering business. Monica persuades Ross to pursue Emily to the airport. Ross arrives just as Emily is boarding and says that he loves her. However, she merely thanks him and leaves. She later calls him to apologise for her lukewarm reaction and says it was because there is someone else. Monica believes that Emily reciprocates Ross’s love and convinces him to go to London to profess his love again. Ross flies off, unaware that Emily has returned to New York to declare her love for him. The couple finally connect by phone. Chandler and Joey are delighted to discover a free pornography channel on their TV and become addicted when they refuse to turn it off.
9118"The One with Rachel's New Dress"Gail MancusoStory by : Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen
Teleplay by : Jill Condon & Amy Toomin
April 2, 1998 (1998-04-02)46662021.72[33]11.5/33[34]
Frank Jr. and Alice ask Phoebe to name one of their unborn triplets, which leads to Joey and Chandler competing to get her to choose their names. In the process, Joey argues that "Chandler" is a sissy name, prompting Chandler to consider changing his full name, though he has ulterior motives. Ross becomes paranoid when Emily and Carol's wife, Susan, spend time together in London, fearing that Susan would once again steal someone he loves. Rachel wears a revealing dress and an even sexier slip under it while dining with Joshua at his apartment, in hope of finally sleeping with him. However, her plans go awry when Joshua’s parents unexpectedly show up at the apartment.
9219"The One with All the Haste"Kevin S. BrightScott Silveri & Wil CalhounApril 9, 1998 (1998-04-09)46661821.76[35]11.4/36[36]
Monica and Rachel resort to desperate measures in order to win their apartment back from Joey and Chandler. These include bribing the guys with Knicks tickets and challenging them to another game. The girls lose the tickets and the game, but eventually switch apartments whilst Joey and Chandler are at the game. Monica and Rachel also kiss for a full minute (offscreen) to prevent Joey and Chandler from complaining. Meanwhile, Ross is disheartened with Emily returning to London again, so they spontaneously decide to get married.
9320"The One with All the Wedding Dresses"Gail MancusoStory by : Adam Chase
Teleplay by : Gregory S. Malins & Michael Curtis
April 16, 1998 (1998-04-16)46662121.94[37]11.6/35[38]
Chandler, frustrated by Joey's loud snoring, takes him to a sleep clinic, where he meets an attractive woman with her own sleeping issues. Monica and Phoebe pick up Emily's wedding gown at the bridal shop. The former tries it on and refuses to take it off. She even resorts to wearing the gown at home while doing house chores. Phoebe then shows up in a rented wedding dress, and both girls pathetically role-play as brides throughout the day. Rachel, struggling to accept Ross’s and Emily's engagement, shocks Joshua by suggesting that they should get married. Rachel then leaves Joshua a voice message explaining that she was just upset about the engagement. She never expects to see him again afterwards. Monica and Phoebe then try cheering Rachel up by getting her to wear her old wedding dress, only for Joshua to unexpectedly show up. Seeing her in a bridal gown, he tacitly breaks up with her by running off for good.
9421"The One with the Invitation"Peter BonerzSeth KurlandApril 23, 1998 (1998-04-23)46661921.51[39]11.3/37[40]

A pregnant Phoebe is frustrated that she is unable to attend Ross's and Emily’s wedding in London. Meanwhile, Ross surprises Emily by inviting Rachel, causing him to reminisce about their time together. Rachel ponders long and hard about the invitation while also reminiscing her past relationship with Ross. She then concludes that it will be too heart-breaking to attend the wedding and ultimately decides to stay with Phoebe in New York.

  • This episode acts as a clip show which includes much footage of Ross’s and Rachel's relationship up to this episode.
9522"The One with the Worst Best Man Ever"Peter BonerzStory by : Seth Kurland
Teleplay by : Gregory S. Malins & Michael Curtis
April 30, 1998 (1998-04-30)46662223.15[41]11.9/38[42]
Rachel and Monica throw a baby shower for Phoebe, who is experiencing extreme mood swings and growing depressed about having to give up the babies after they are born. Meanwhile, Ross chooses Joey over Chandler to be his best man, but Joey accidentally loses the wedding ring after throwing a bachelor party for Ross, which features a stripper. The men then discover that the duck had eaten the ring, and take it to the vet. The ring is successfully retrieved in the end, and Ross ultimately decides to make both Chandler and Joey his best men.
96
97
23
24
"The One with Ross's Wedding"Kevin S. BrightMichael Borkow
Story by : Jill Condon & Amy Toomin
Teleplay by : Shana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott Silveri
May 7, 1998 (1998-05-07)[a]466623
466624
31.61[43]16.7/49[44]
Everyone except Rachel and Phoebe fly to London for Ross’s and Emily's wedding. Joey embarrasses Chandler while sightseeing in London. Ross and Emily are shocked that their wedding venue is undergoing an early demolition. Monica suggests postponing the wedding, infuriating Ross. Back in New York, Phoebe sheds light on Rachel about the latter still loving Ross, prompting Rachel to head to London and stop the wedding by confessing to Ross. Later, Ross and Monica surprise Emily by transforming the partially-demolished church into a suitable venue. Joey becomes homesick but a bridesmaid cheers him up. Phoebe repeatedly calls London to get the gang to stop Rachel. After seeing Ross and Emily together, Rachel is unable to tell Ross the truth. Monica and Chandler sleep together, hiding it from the others. At the altar, Ross says Rachel's name instead of Emily's.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ These episodes originally aired as a single double-length episode but are sometimes split into two episodes for syndication, reruns and DVD presentation.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]